Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Eurogamer Expo 2011 Preview*

*Originally posted on 7bitarcade.com

Look anywhere in the gaming media and you’ll see talk of sequels saturating the market. People will argue to the death about how there is a distinct lack of original IP and that the sequel is killing the industry. Pah, I say to these people. PAH!

This years Eurogamer Expo is rife full of massive Triple A sequels. The likes of Gears of War 3, Assassins Creed: Revelations, Forza 4 and Uncharted 3 will all be rearing their beautiful heads to wow us and empty our wallets before the year is done.

In preparation for the massive titles on show, I’ve gathered my top 3 anticipated games at EGX this year.

#3. Batman: Arkham City

I picked up Arkham Asylum on release after being lucky enough to attend a closed event with Rocksteady. I was immediately stunned by the presentation that oozed from the screen as after a stream of terrible Batman titles, AA was finally an adventure worthy of the worlds greatest detective. Now, Rocksteady have a heap of expectation piled on them to make AC surpass AA in every way and, from what I’ve seen, it does.

Moving from the confines of an island to the mainland, Arkham is now a sprawling network of dilapidated buildings and villainous activity. It’s almost as if it has been designed as Batmans’ playground.

All the villains will be there: Joker, Two-Face, Riddler, Penguin, Hugo Strange, Zsasz, Bane, Mr Freeze, Harley Quinn, Deadshot and, of course, the playable Catwoman.

If you are not excited about this at all, then find some excitement within the deep dark recesses of your brain. Batman Arkham City is going to rock the Expo this year.

#2. Mass Effect 3

ME2 was easily the game of 2010. Aside from Assassin’s Creed 2, there has been no better sequel in recent years.

ME3 sees a continuation of Shepherds’ story directly after the events of The Arrival DLC, and whilst I don’t want to give away spoilers to people who may not have played ME2 yet (why?!) the title pretty much speaks for itself. Expect the usual full story arcs (or not, depending on who died) from all the main characters and an expansive set of side missions to distract you from the galactic apocalypse.

As for the massively toned-down RPG elements in ME2, well they are back! Expect something inbetween ME1 & ME2 with the inclusion of full customisable weapon loadouts. While finer details are a little thin at the moment, BioWare are masters of their craft. This will be immense. Fact.

#1. Battlefield 3

My top slot, and more than likely my game of the year, is saved for the warfare giant of BF3. Call of Duty fans may get a tiny facelift and a few new features once a year, but good things come to those who wait.

Battlefield has long been the staple of PC online multiplayer action. The massive maps and gigantic teams gave an overwhelming sense of your tiny part in a much larger sequence of events.

The series had a shaky start on the consoles. I wasn’t a fan of either Modern Combat or Bad Company 1 so much so that it took a friend to introduce me to Battlefield: Bad Company 2 before I really gave it a chance. Thank your respective deities that he did otherwise I would be stuck admiring the graphical changes in COD (sarcasm people!).

From the trailers I’ve seen, BF3 has some of the prettiest looking destructible environments around. They’ve built the Frostbite 2 engine up from scratch this time and it shows. The lighting and particle effects are unparalleled. Of course, these previews are always shown on a high end PC so I’ll look forward to getting my hands on a console version, but I highly doubt DICE will let it be released with anything less than perfection.

With three giants like these hitting the markets in coming months who can possibly argue that sequels are killing the gaming world?

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